Kampala 30 January 2024: Uganda’s Body & Personal Care sector has experienced significant growth over the years. However, the competitiveness of this sector has been derailed by the ever-increasing cost of doing business, exacerbated by the prevailing taxation regime.
In an effort to address the various issues affecting the sector, the Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) organized a roundtable meeting with members from the Body & Personal Care Products Sector at the UMA Head Office.
The meeting sought to deliberate on issues pertaining to; sector regulation, constraints to competitiveness and the Digital Conformity Mark (DCM) which, according to the manufacturers, is making the cost of doing business high.
- Digital Conformity Mark (DCM). The sector developed a position paper that was identifying challenges faced. This was presented to MoFPED, who further held internal discussions to assess the impact of the DCM on the sector.
- Raw materials: Sector players to aggregate all raw materials used in production with their respective HS Codes in a bid harmonize importation. The definition of raw materials is critical for tariff applications, therefore, benchmarking against other parastatal bodies can help establish fair and consistent definitions, preventing ambiguity and ensuring equitable treatment across sectors.
- Research: Members were requested to contribute an agreeable fund towards sector research to provide evidence-based advocacy that will guide policy making. Need to engage the academia to aid in identifying suitable raw materials such as vitamins, needed in producing quality products.
- UMA to write a paper to Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU) speaking to the use of petroleum jelly in the production of beauty and body care products. It will also stipulate the volumes required and estimated costs.
- Need to reduce the import duty on the packaging materials for body care products.
- Create sector synergies. Through identifying sectors using similar raw materials like pharmaceuticals, confectionary, cosmetics, etc. and link them to sectors like logistics, to reduce on transportation costs.
- The need to have more frequent meetings to keep abreast with sector activities.
- The need to regulate informal businesses that pose a threat to consumers since their products are not certified.
- Need to conduct field visits to create a pool of issues and maintain relationships with member companies.
- There is need to harmonise on the sector’s name (Cosmetics sector to Body & Personal Care sector).